It is said that “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”; effectively, you’ll never be done exploring our capital. However, if you’ve already done the generic landmarks and classic tours of the city, don’t be put off; there are plenty of alternative walking tours in London to enjoy. You’ll get the chance to explore the debauched, macabre and downright cheesy parts of London Town.
If you aren’t raring to join The London Cheese Crawl, then there’s clearly something wrong with you (to be fair, that thing might be lactose intolerance, which we can forgive, of course). Wandering from Mayfair to Covent Garden, you’ll take part in a cheese trivia quiz, munch on some delectable blue cheese at Fortnum & Mason’s legendary cheese counter, and finish up with an artisanal cheese board in Covent Garden. You’ll also be able to sample *ahem* drunk cheeses – or cheese soaked in barrels of wine – in London’s ‘Little Italy’. Sign me up, pronto!
CityDays offer a selection of outdoor escape-room style games, ideal if standing quietly behind a guide who leads you from location to location is off putting. These fantastic alternative walking tours of London are available to enjoy in various locations, from Covent Garden to Kensington, Mayfair to the medieval City of London. The Dickens-themed tour is shrouded in mystery, while there are secrets to be uncovered south of the river in Southwark too.
The exploration game sits on your phone, prompting you to solve quirky puzzles and unravel mysterious stories that lead you to the hidden spots and historical landmarks alike. Along the way, CityDays will recommend top-rated pubs, bars, and cafes, some with exclusive discounts, if you fancy taking a little break. The city tour is great for intimate dates, large family or friend outings, and even team bonding sessions.
Nope, it’s not actually run by us – that would be a heavily food-and-booze-based tour, I’d guess with numerous stops at different pubs – but it’s still pretty great! Uncovering the city’s secret alleys, ancient pubs, old bookshops and lost societies, The Secret London Walking Tour scratches a little further beneath the surface of the English capital, and will get you well off the tourist trail.
Sherlock Holmes fans – we’re looking at you. If you think you know our beloved city, you’d better think again. Lying beneath the streets and behind the gleaming modern buildings are secret rivers and wells, tiny lanes, and ancient cloisters just waiting to be discovered. You’re guaranteed to learn loads, and it’s a brilliant way to spend an afternoon. So get ready to get your inner sleuth on…
This alternative walking tour will give you the chance to amble through the streets of ancient London with a guide and learn exactly what lies beneath your feet. Throughout the 90-minute tour, you’ll see the memorial to Braveheart himself, Mel Gibson (ok, actually William Wallace), and will also discover where the Great Fire of London burnt itself out. You’ll also take a wander through the graveyard of the ‘finest Medieval church in London’ – that’s some title right!?
The Churchill and WW2 tour will give you the chance to hear about London during the Blitz, discover the courage of ordinary people in the face of terror, and see the city through the eyes of Winston Churchill. Standing in the locations shelled by the Luftwaffe 75 years ago, your tour guide will let you in on some incredible stories, which will help invoke the famous Blitz Spirit, transporting you back in time to our Darkest Hour.
On this journey into the heart of Westminster, you will take in the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Parliament Square, Downing Street and Whitehall, see war memorials, a bomb escape hatch, Churchill’s statue and more.
Yeah… this alternative walking tour of London ain’t that lighthearted, we’ll be honest. But it is damn interesting! London’s a city of hopes and dreams, but it’s also one of death and betrayal. We’re not trying to be dramatic – after all, this is the city where Jack the Ripper stalked the streets and where thousands were executed for treason.
Sites ticked off on Darkside London: Death, Fire and Execution include the oldest house which survived the Great Fire of London and the site where society darling Lady Elizabeth Hatton was torn ‘limb from limb’. It’s called ‘Bleeding Heart Yard’ – yikes!
Aren’t we just full of joy! Another pretty dark one here from Darkside London – this time to see the ominous sounding ‘Temple of the Occult’ and a whole host of different graveyards. You’ll hear tales of pantomime clowns, dancing on graves and Queen Elizabeth I’s first death warrant – spooky stuff. You’ll also see a whole host of dissected moles in the Grant Museum of Zoology and will visit other haunted spots – yeah, this one’s pretty interesting to say the least.
If it isn’t obvious enough yet, here at Secret London, we bloody love a pub come rain or shine. So, we had to include this as one of the alternative walking tours in London – I mean what better way to spend two-and-a-half hours than by pub-hopping?! On the Covent Garden Historical Pub Tour, stop at four different pubs – including the oldest pub in Covent Garden – and learn how London’s tastes in drink have evolved from the Restoration period through to Victorian era. Chin chin.
Some features in this article have been paid for by Secret London’s friendly brand partners.